Surname: Saber tooth tiger
Other names: Smilodon
Latin name: Machairodontinae
size: up to 3m body length
mass: 250 - 500kg
Older: 15 - 30 years (estimate)
Appearance: up to 30cm long, curved canines
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Carnivore
food: so far not scientifically clarified
original origin: unknown
Sleep-wake rhythm: unknown
habitat: relatively unspecific
natural enemies: no
sexual maturity: ?
mating season: unknown
litter size: unknown
social behavior: Pack animal
Threatened with extinction: Extinct
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the saber tooth tiger
- The term saber-toothed tiger describes several types of big cats, the so-called saber-toothed cats, which colonized the European, African and American continents as well as large parts of Asia several million years ago.
- Saber-toothed cats died in Europe about 40,000 years ago, in America 10,000 years ago. It must have come to meetings between the first humans and saber-toothed cats.
- The name saber-toothed tiger is a bit misleading because these cats were not related to today's tiger. They are therefore not regarded as direct ancestors of the big cats of our time.
- The family of saber-toothed cats included, among others, the European species Homotherion and Megantereon, as well as the American-native Smilodon. This is considered the largest species among the saber-toothed cats and also possessed the longest of the characteristic and eponymous teeth.
- These were twenty centimeters long at the American Smilodon.
- Smilodon, with a height of about 1.20 meters at the withers, was the largest known cat ever to populate the earth. The European species reached shoulder heights of about seventy to ninety centimeters.
- The individual types differed strongly in the physique. While some saber-toothed cats had a robust trunk with short legs, as is known of bears, other species were equipped with a slender body and long limbs.
- The saber-toothed cats hunted in mixed sexual packs and captured primarily large herbivores grazing in the vast steppes. Whether mammoths and elephants were among their prey animals, has not yet been scientifically proven, but is accepted.
- A pack was headed by a dominant male animal that did not tolerate young competitors and unconditionally killed offspring of all its predecessors.
- The large teeth of the saber-toothed tigers were only used when the sacrificial animal was already overwhelmed and served to cut through its trachea and carotid artery.
- Scientists suspect that the teeth, however, also had major disadvantages and were essential in the extinction of these big cats.
- Because they were made of relatively soft tissue, they were slightly brittle. Therefore, it is believed that the saber-toothed tigers could only tear the soft muscle meat of prey animals and leave the rest scavengers left.
- It is likely that their wasteful diet was fatal to the saber tooth tigers as the number of large herds of herbivores gradually decreased.